The Shopkeepers is a community theatre piece about the shopkeepers of Avondale, Auckland, telling the stories of people who spend their days selling everything from drums to artificial flower arrangements to loaves of bread. It will be performed as part of the Whau Arts Festival in October 2015.
Unlike the mall of nearby New Lynn, most of the shops in the Avondale shopping strip are still owned and operated by the people who work in them; there's a few franchises but mostly the shops are as they've been for the last 130 years: small independent businesses run by families. Some of these shops have been there for 40 years; some opened only a few months ago. It's also a place where the changing fortunes of small businesses are very visible; the boutiques and furniture stores of yesteryear have been replaced with $2 shops and op shops. Underpinning all of this is the rich mix of people who live and work in the suburb; with around 40% of residents born overseas, it's not unusual to hear a multiplicity of languages spoken within one shop.
The Shopkeepers is a semi-verbatim play, based on interviews that cast members have undertaken with retail workers and business owners. The cast is made up of local residents and retail workers, most of whom are not formally trained, but whom are all pretty great!
6pm, 17 October 2015
5pm, 18 October 2015
Avondale Primary School Hall